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Int J Oncol. 2011 Oct;39(4):891-8. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2011.1085. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Cisplatin and TRAIL enhance breast cancer stem cell death.

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Department of Pathology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has increased recurrence and poor survival, despite a high response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine whether current drug treatment(s) eliminates bulk of tumor cells, but it has a minimal effect on cancer stem cells (CSCs) leading to tumor recurrence. We studied the effects of PARP inhibitors (AZD2281 and BSI-201), paclitaxel, docetaxel, cisplatin and cisplatin plus TRAIL on CSCs derived from CRL-2335 and MDA-MB-468 TNBC cells in vitro. The in vitro data indicate that cisplatin plus TRIAL treatment was most effective in eliminating CSCs compared to PARP inhibitors, cisplatin, paclitaxel and docetaxel. Treatment with cisplatin plus TRAIL also inhibits Wnt-1 signaling and its downstream target, β-catenin, phospho β-catenin, cyclin D1, increased apoptosis, reduced proliferation and mammosphere formation. Inhibition of Wnt-1 by siRNA significantly reduced the ability of CSCs to form mammospheres compared to control. However, maximum effect was seen in cisplatin plus TRAIL-treated cells. Taken together the data suggest that cisplatin plus TRAIL treatment has the potential of providing a new strategy for improving the therapeutic outcome in TNBC patients.

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